MyPOV: I've seen some
linkbait specials goofy pieces about how remote work isn't all it's cracked up to be, or how our collective productivity has gone down.
Is that anything near fair? Remote work isn't meant to be lockdown 24/7. That said, has the forced remote push - however non-ideal it has been - provoked a permanent change?
Kurt parses a slew of fresh data and WFH announcements, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who thinks half their workforce might be remote in five years.
Kurt cites a report from social network site Blind:
Blink found that almost two-thirds of respondents from three tech-heavy locales, the Bay Area, New York City and Seattle, would relocate if allowed to work remotely. Indeed, about 14% said they would leave the country if possible.
Leaving the country? Doesn't sound half bad at the moment. Kurt concludes:
It is impossible to predict how such a grand social experiment might play out. Still, it seems likely to increase an organization's geographic diversity, thereby opening the talent pool for many positions.
It's the access to fresh/excluded talent pools that is the remote silver lining of the future - for companies and many individuals.
Perma-WFH should also improve job satisfaction for those that can balance work and personal life when one's home is both castle and office, however, it won't suit everyone. While offices might get small and less dense, they aren't going away.
No, offices won't go away. I traded my crystal ball for some toilet paper and hand sanitizer in March. Still, I believe companies that embrace a permanent remote workforce component will prove their talent advantage - in turn pressuring their office-centric peers. Offices? Yes. But maybe, just maybe, the most
soul-crushing ridiculous urban commutes will be perceived for what they are - relics of office-culture-obsessions run amok.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Digital learnings from China inform Ralph Lauren's US COVID-19 response - Stuart on digital-pure-player... Ralph Lauren? As for China lessons: start with the savvy re-introduction of the store (contactless options, digital pickup, self-checkout, etc).
- ‘Privacy has taken a back seat’ as governments pursue digital contact tracing - Derek takes on the now-hottest issue in data privacy today.
- Rachel Happe in conversation about The State of Community Management 2020 - It's one of the biggest head scratchers in enterprise software: the return on community is proven. But the investment in community continues to underwhelm. Den shares the latest from Rachel Happe and her team's essential work.
- Don't mix up chatbots and conversational AI. There's a big difference, says Pypestream CEO - Barb's distinctions here made me hate dumb web bots a bit less. There is hope for better.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. It was a bellwether kind of week in enterprise software earnings, with enough earnings data to lean optimistic, concerned, or a bit of both.
- Workday downgrades full year outlook as it cements partnerships with Microsoft and Salesforce - Den takes the earnings wheel: "I'm not as convinced as Bhusri about making comparisons between 2008-09 and 2020. To me, there is something fundamentally different and which starts with people and their relationship to the workplace."
- Salesforce Q1 FY2021 - beats revenue estimates but trims full year guidance - Den
earnings-calls-are-a-drag-but-I'm-pretty-good-at-'em-anyhow"numbers" Howlett is back at it. Next pit stop, Salesforce: "Benioff, while mentioning the 2008-9 financial crisis was quick to point out that the current COVID-19 crisis is nothing like anything any of us has seen before. At the same time though, Benioff is looking to the future and an expectation that by this time next year it will be something like business as before. Like everyone else I have no clue as to whether he is correct."
- A good Q1 innings for Box as WFH sweeps enterprise - Phil on a vendor seizing the remote collaboration opportunity.
ServiceNow dished out a motherload of use cases at their Knowledge 2020 event. Derek nabbed a couple more this week:
- Rolling out ServiceNow at University of California, Berkeley - key learnings
- Chevron rolls out ServiceNow for global IT operations in just 7 months
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Zuora subscription business platform gathers proof points in the pandemic - Phil
- Rimini Street carves out 23% in service delivery resolution time with AI solutions - Den
- Matching remote working with empowered workers on ‘the coalface’ - Thoughtspot’s solution to post-Coronavirus change - Martin
Jon's grab bag - Mark filed a nifty use case in Northumbrian Water Group CIO Nigel Watson on getting innovation to flow. Meanwhile, Neil braved high performance computing hype to bring us Can supercomputers play a role in the fight against COVID-19?
I found a different angle to bolster my deep work stump speech in Think deep work isn't relevant to software engineers? Think again - Uplevel on the productivity impact of distraction culture. Though I expand this topic from engineers to anyone who wants to leave a proverbial dent in the universe. Finally, Brian takes the
cheese wagon wheel memories event nostalgia from a cancelled season and asks, What we haven't missed this user conference season... And yes, Brian, I miss the marching bands and hipster bongo circles...
Best of the rest
Lead story - Why did Hertz go bust?
MyPOV: It's easy to say that Hertz went bankrupt because the travel industry went off a cliff few of us saw coming - even those with the
shiniest most overhyped most expensive AI systems. But I was intrigued by last week's Hertz news, with an analyst saying Avis had a better chance of surviving because it cut costs sooner. This rekindles debates about the factors for failure - and Hertz's decisions specifically.
Eric Kimberling of Third Stage Consulting has been critiquing Hertz's so-called transformation for quite some time. In fact last year, I grilled Kimberling in this very column for perhaps awarding Avis the victory lane too soon. Well, maybe I was wrong. Kimberling updates in Hertz Bankruptcy and the Future of Digital Transformation. Kimberling asks: how could two competitors (Avis and Hertz) have such different transformation results? One big clue? The classic project gotcha:
Hertz lost control of its system integrator, and as a result, the transformation project became misaligned.
Bloomberg takes a deeper view in How Did Hertz Go Bust? This Is the Inside Story. The obvious culprit is the Coronavirus economy. But in the longer view:
[It's a] fable about what happens when a company relies on accounting and consolidation to keep shareholders happy. It's a tale of lurching from one CEO to another and management teams failing to stay attuned to consumer tastes.
Oh, and the worst celebrity endorsement deal of all time (O.J. Simpson). It's obviously a bit unfair to pick on a company with a revenue hit that would put the vast majority of businesses on the ropes. Yet the contrast with Avis is worth noting. Kimberling again:
Losing control of your systems integrator and overall transformation isn't the only problem. Too many companies focus too much on technology and too little on the things that really matter.
Strategy > culture > tech or some such. Go out and buy some shiny new tech toys like Hertz, and you miss the Ubers driving by. Kimberling:
Avis (one of Hertz’s primary competitors) used its digital transformation to overhaul its business model.
- Boeing Cuts More Than 12,000 Jobs Due To Drop In Air Travel - speaking of companies with a complicated accountability for their current predicament....
- Who'd have thought... Wipro went for Delaporte - No one better to assess Wipro's CEO shuffle than Phil Fersht of HfS.
- Why is Artificial Intelligence So Useless for Business? - Okay, it's a linkbaity title, but let's give a bit of traffic to this PhD's valiant solo web site, eh? At any rate, it's not an AI-bash. It's a how-not-to that leads us into more constructive how-to.
- AI algorithms are puzzled by our online behavior during the coronavirus pandemic - Hey, that's fair, so are we.
- Walmart employees are out to show its anti-shoplifting AI doesn’t work - Just how well this AI works is under debate, but: given how traumatic a false positive shoplifting result can be for a consumer (and workers for that matter), can't blame these employees for flagging it up.
Here's one for the "some apologies are better than others file": Mining firm Rio Tinto sorry for destroying Aboriginal caves. Hey, that's ok, it was only 46,000-year-old human relics from the last Ice Age.
On the opposite end of the apology spectrum, from two weeks ago, this one via Derek du Preez: Coronavirus football: FC Seoul apologises for 'sex dolls' in stands. No apology needed here methinks...
This one will require a click or two, but Den Howlett pinged on a colossal interpersonal whiff involving a father who couldn't let go, and went legal instead.
It's been kind of a rough week here in the U.S, with urban strife added to our corona-mix. So I'll leave you with a touch of something better:
Florida high school holds its graduation ceremony on jet skis https://t.co/CeDYTgMsrv
-> that is some badass social distancing right there
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) May 31, 2020
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.